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Illinois Law Threatens Conscience Rights, Crisis-Pregnancy Centers (2851)

The bill mandates that staff at crisis-pregnancy centers provide referrals to abortion providers, when women say that they want an abortion.

08/09/2016 Comments (13)
AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim File

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, shown at a conference July 28, Rauner surprised and angered some lawmakers in his party and pro-life groups for signing two, one extending insurance coverage for nearly all contraceptives and another requiring physicians who refuse to perform abortions for moral and religious reasons to provide information to patients on where they can go for the procedure.

– AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim File

CHICAGO — A new law in Illinois weakens existing protections for religious liberty and conscience rights for hospitals, doctors and nurses — and could even force staff of crisis-pregnancy centers to promote abortion, according to local pro-life advocates.

“We’re arm-twisted by this law to go against our very own morals and consciences,” said Kathy Bozyk, who operates the Southside Pregnancy Center in Chicago.

At issue is a bill signed into law at the end of July by Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, that amends Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act, mandating that pro-life doctors, nurses and staff at crisis-pregnancy centers present abortion as a legal treatment option by...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, alliance defending freedom, conscience protection, crisis-pregnancy centers, illinois, stephen beale, thomas more society

Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky: Serious Olympians — and Catholics (11247)

Mass and prayer keep the winning athletes focused.

08/09/2016 Comments (8)
Facebook

Katie Ledecky (l) and Simone Biles

– Facebook

RIO DE JANEIRO — Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky are two of the names to know in this year’s summer Olympics in Rio.

Biles, a record-shattering gymnast with a sparkling smile and bubbly energy that shines through her routines, is the U.S. gymnastics team fan favorite and the gymnast to beat for any chance at the gold.

“Biles competes with a joy and abandon that has been lacking in women’s gymnastics in recent years,” wrote Liz Clarke for The Washington Post. “All too often, grim-faced pony-tailed youngsters clench their jaws, furrow their brows and inhale an ocean’s worth of air before hurtling into rigorous tumbling passes. Their feats may be acrobatically eye-popping, but the strain of...READ MORE

Filed under athletics, catholic, faith and sports, olympics, prayer

Catholics Gain Toehold in Sweden — 500 Years After Luther (9019)

Immigrants have bolstered the faithful in this onetime Lutheran, now increasingly secular, stronghold.

08/09/2016 Comments (11)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockholm

Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm

– Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockholm

G.K. Chesterton believed that the medieval era (800-1400 AD) was the height of human civilization. The implication, of course, is that society has so degraded over the intervening centuries by abandoning the lofty goals and aspirational values taught when Christianity was an integrated part of Western society.

However, it should be remembered that, during the Medieval Ages, according to Justo González’s 1984 book The Story of Christianity, only 50% of Europeans were Christians. Great swathes of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe hadn’t yet experienced the light of Christ and, of course, a Muslim army occupied Spain and Portugal, stifling the Church there.

In Scandinavia, the Ultima Thule,...READ MORE

Filed under angelo stagnaro, pope francis, reformation, scandinavia, sweden

Religious Students From Disadvantaged Backgrounds Could Be Most Affected by California Bill (1650)

‘This is a time for us to frame this around the big issues of religious freedom, choice of students and access of students to higher education,’ says Christian professor of bill that could require schools to compromise their religious beliefs or face lawsuits and an end to their state grants under the CalGrant program.

08/09/2016 Comments (4)
Ryan Tyler Smith via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

– Ryan Tyler Smith via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Religious students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be most affected by a California bill threatening state-backed student grants to schools that disagree with same-sex “marriage” and gender ideology.

“The students become the greatest victims in all of this. Students growing up in your youth groups may say, ‘We want to go to a school that is going to help us learn our faith while earning a degree.’ This bill would not allow that to happen,” said professor Kevin Mannoia, chaplain and pastoral ministry professor at Azusa Pacific University.

The proposed bill, S.B. 1146, could have grave financial consequences for these students and their desired schools — and even...READ MORE

Filed under california, faith, higher education, religious freedom

Pope Francis Mourns Victims of ‘Senseless and Brutal’ Pakistan Hospital Attack (2803)

‘Upon all who mourn and upon all who have been affected by this tragedy, His Holiness invokes the divine gifts of consolation and strength,’ read a telegram from the Holy See on Aug. 9.

08/09/2016 Comments (7)
AP Photo/Arshad Butt

People comfort each other following a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 8. A powerful bomb went off inside a government-run hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta on Monday, killing dozens of people and wounding dozens of others, police said.

– AP Photo/Arshad Butt

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis offered his condolences to those affected by the “senseless and brutal” attack against a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, which left dozens dead and over a hundred injured.

Both a Pakistan faction of the Taliban — known as Jamaat-ur-Ahrar — and the Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to Reuters.

The Jamaat-ur-Ahrar is the same group responsible for a deadly attack earlier this year in which around 70 people — mostly children — were slaughtered during Easter Sunday celebrations.

The Holy Father was “deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life” from Monday’s attack, according to the telegram that was signed by Vatican Secretary of...READ MORE

Filed under ann schneible, cardinal pietro parolin, pakistan, pope francis, terrorism

What Will Be the Scope of the Pope’s Commission on Women Deacons? (4789)

The Holy Father said the focus will be on the ‘first ages of the Church.’

08/08/2016 Comments (19)
CNA/Alan Holdren

Pope Francis speaks to journalists during a press conference on the papal flight to Rome from Krakow, Poland on July 31.

– CNA/Alan Holdren

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has followed through on a promise he made earlier this year to institute an official commission to study the question of the diaconate of women, with a special emphasis on the early Church. But it remains unclear what the scope and ultimate purpose of the new body will be.

The Vatican announced Aug. 2 that, “after intense prayer and mature reflection,” the Holy Father decided to “establish an official commission that could study the question” of the diaconate of women, “especially with regard to the first ages of the Church.”

The Holy See also unveiled the names of 13 specialists in theology and Church history — seven men and six women — who will make up the...READ MORE

Filed under deacons, edward pentin, pope francis, women deacons, women priests

Bishops in Wake of Biden-Officiated Same-Sex ‘Wedding’: Such Actions Counter the Faith (12342)

‘When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnize the relationship of two people of the same sex, confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics,’ said an Aug. 5 message on the U.S. bishops’ conference blog.

08/08/2016 Comments (140)
Drop of Light via Shutterstock.com via CNA

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

– Drop of Light via Shutterstock.com via CNA

WASHINGTON — Just days after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden officiated at a same-sex “wedding” ceremony, three leading bishops aimed for clarity: Such actions counter Catholic teaching and aren’t a faithful witness.

“When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnize the relationship of two people of the same sex, confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics. What we see is a counter-witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth,” said an Aug. 5 message on the U.S. bishops’ conference blog.

The statement was signed by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky.,...READ MORE

Filed under same-sex marriage, u.s. bishops, vice president joe biden

St. Dominic: Truth in a Troubled World (3169)

COMMENTARY: The assiduous study of sacred truth is our only hope in a jaded, dangerous and relativistic age.

08/08/2016 Comments (3)
Public domain

– Public domain

In the 12th canto of the Paradiso, the poet Dante speaks of the legacy of St. Dominic to the Catholic Church: “Then with both learning and zeal and with the apostolic office, he went forth like a torrent driven from a high spring.”

Aug. 3 marked the 50th anniversary of my receiving the habit of the order founded by St. Dominic (whose feast day is Aug. 8), known formally as the Order of Preachers and more popularly as the Dominican Order. Coincidentally, 2016 is also the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Dominicans, which were formally approved as an order by Pope Honorius III, on Dec. 22, 1216. In approving the order, he said we should be pugiles fidei (literally, boxers of the...READ MORE

Filed under dominicans, father brian mullady, st. dominic

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